Travel responsibly in Burma

Travel responsibly in Burma

This is the question that many are asking considering the political situation of military regime in which the country finds itself and because of which some prefer to boycott.

Others, like me, prefer to go while maintaining a responsible travel ethics and reducing the money that enters the Government’s pockets to the minimum possible, favoring instead individual artisans, guest houses, local restaurants and preferring to travel on buses even though the roads are not the best in the world.
The choice is obviously personal. But with hindsight, or rather with that of now considering that I’m still here, I can only consider myself happy to have made the decision to come.
I may have given money to the Burmese government but with small actions and I believe my mere presence I gave something important to its inhabitants.

Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Travel responsibly in Cambodia

What to do to travel responsibly in Burma

  • Traveling by bus rather than by train or plane. In fact, the buses belong to private companies and are not state-owned, otherwise trains and planes are 100% state-owned and in this way you would be financing the Government.
    Be aware that prices for tourists are much higher than those for locals. Also bring jackets and scarves for bus travel, the air conditioning could be an obstacle to your sleep.
  • Sleeping in guest houses rather than in state hotels. The guesthouses, although they have to pay a fee to the state, do not belong entirely to this (let’s consider them as casas particulares in Cuba).
  • Avoid organized tours and do it yourself by asking around, paying drivers, boats etc. Travel independently, the Myanmar is a very safe country and no one will ever steal anything. You can walk down the street at night and you won’t be bothered by anyone other than a few people who want to talk to you.
    As I read in a guide “if a Burmese runs with your money it’s only because you dropped it and he wants to give it back”. but do it on the black market, although I must admit that it seems that the official exchange rate is now very close to that of the black market compared to previous years.
  • By black market I don’t mean the people who stop you on the street (be wary of them) but some shops such as jewelry or craft shops at the market in Bogyoke Aung San Market (Yangon). Go into the shops and ask if they change and how much the current exchange rate is.
    At the moment the exchange rate is $1=770k on the black market (in Yangon the exchange rate is better than other cities in Myanmar).
    You will realize that for 200 dollars of change you will get an incredible amount of kyat so make sure you can count the money calmly, if they don’t want you to count it, go away and ask some other shop.
  • Buy from different manufacturers and not in just one shop. Distribute your money equally between stores. The craftsmanship is fantastic and cheap. Negotiate.
  • Buy a “longy”, the typical Burmese skirt. Men and women wear it, you will make them happy if you also wear their typical clothes.
    A longy on the market (finished) costs between 3000 and 3500 k (or between $4 and $5).
    Also remember that the country is very conservative, don’t go around in shorts and tank tops but cover your legs and shoulders. It’s hot I know, but it’s right to adapt to this too.
  • If you have books and newspapers (in English) they will be delighted to receive them, the Burmese are literally greedy for information and this would be a great gift.
  • If you bring pens, notebooks or things for school, do not give them to a child but entrust them to a school that will know better than the child how to make good use of them. Contribute and help those who try to provide education, you will see that many children work and I don’t think they have the means to study so a hand to those who provide free education is always a good deed.
  • Don’t talk about the political situation with the locals unless they do the talking. Generally if they don’t want to talk about it they will change the subject but it is a very delicate conversation and they are afraid of being spied on or listened to, so don’t take this initiative.
    There are a lot of police around and not in uniform, avoid certain conversations in public places.
  • If people greet you on the street, stop, speak, let yourself be known. They’re curious, they’ll fill you with questions, they want to know what’s going on in the world, and they’ll make you feel like a SuperStar!


The Burma it will take you on a real journey through time and will allow you to immerse yourself in a cultural reality that is difficult to imagine if you don’t come. here

The country can be difficult to digest, especially if you arrive prepared for what awaits you, traveling is not easy, the roads are winding and full of potholes, travel times are epic but if you like adventure and want to discover a new world this is the right country.

Did I make the right choice or not?
Part of my money, no matter how careful I was, certainly ended up in the pockets of the State, but the people I met are so eager to know, to know, and are so happy to be with you and talk to you that I have never had no doubt that I made a wrong choice by boycotting this country.
The locals are not well and will not be happy but giving them even just 10 minutes of chat and having them show you around so they can practice their English is a personal and human gift that is worth much more than that percentage of money given at the tills state.
Boycotting the country could mean boycotting an entire population that has little to share with the Government.

Disclaimer: In this post, some of the links provided are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. However, this does not incur any additional cost to you. The commissions I receive through these affiliate links they help fund and support my blog, thus maintaining its independence and lack of sponsorship. I always strive to provide you with the best information and advice possible, based on my personal experience and research. I would like to underline that your support is essential to keep this blog alive and continue to provide you with quality content. Thank you for your support!

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Top budget hotels to look for this holiday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *